Following the death of the old Duke of Normandy, Richard III, Robert I ascension to the throne of Normandy (1027) was contested by his younger brother Richard suggesting their father had not died by natural means. Failing an amicable resolution, both sides rallied their forces and met on the fields near Argentan. Augmented by cavalry from Brittany, Robert had a slight advantage in mounted troops to face Richard’s greater number and better-quality infantry supported by a large number of archers.
The field, less than ideal, offered barely enough ground for Robert to deploy his force in two contingents. Richard had less problem and could extend his line to overlap that of Robert and as a cautionary move placed a reserve formation of milites behind the centre contingent.
Perplexed by his brother’s idleness (low pips), Richard sent his left-wing infantry to seize the woods and threaten Robert’s right. Taking possession of the wood, Richard’s archers showered Robert’s knights with arrows. Stung into action Robert moved his battle line forward.
The advance was not without mishap as Robert’s harassed line of milites were struck by a well-timed charge by Richard’s knights gaining an advantage.
Demonstrating more skill, Robert launched a series of charges placing Richard’s knights off balance while denying them room to manoeuvre. It was not long before Richard discovered all his troops were now committed.
The general melee that followed became so desperate only the cry of “Robert, Duke of Normandy’ could acknowledge friend from foe.
The battle ended with a third of Richard’s army dead or wounded and Richard’s subsequent capture meant the ascension of Robert to the throne would no longer be contested. Offered a monastic life, which was refused, Richard accepted exile to Italy.
Game resolved in five turns with a score of 4 – 1.
1 x General (3Kn), 6 x Milites (3Kn), 2 x Breton (Cv), 2 x spearmen (Sp), 1 x archers (3Bw).
1 x General (3Kn), 6 x Milites (3Kn), 2 x swordsmen (4Bd), 2 x archers (3Bw), 1 x javelinmen (Ps).